EDGE OF NIGHT, 24 Mar 1969
Graham County, north of Monticello
Holding Barney and Mona West at gunpoint, Laurie’s eyes are wide-set as a puma’s and full like the moon as she nervously moves toward the door. Trying to unchain the lock that won’t unfasten, Laurie is distracted long enough for Barney to lunge for the gun.
A terrified Mona lets out a guttural scream hearing a gunshot already. Mona knew it...one of them would be shot...dead! It was her fault for allowing Barney to keep a gun in the house when she opposes guns and irresponsible people handling them. Barney should never have accepted a gun from Barrington to bring back to the shack. As Barney wrestles the gun out of Laurie's hand, the loaded gun makes a deafening crash against the floor causing a near hysterical Mona to almost faint. However, Barney's mean raised voice startles Mona and prevents Mona from keeling over...like a lady.
"Get over here!" Barney commands Mona. "For Christ sake, help me with this little wench, will ya?" With Mona’s help, Barney and Mona at last manage to retrain Laurie and carry Laurie back to the bed. As a half-out-of-her mind Mona stands trembling in a distant dark corner, Barney picks up the gun and laughs that Laurie couldn't have harmed them anyway... she forgot to take the safety off. Mona is none to pleased just the same. Safety off or on in the wrong hand it remains a digusting deadly weapon.
Then angrily Barney rails at Mona for being too soft with Laurie.
“She’s damned scared of me but not of you,” he gripes, pulling Mona out of the corner and into the light. “Hit her! Go on...I say hit her good and hard in the face 'til she’s 'fraid of ya like she is of me. Go on, hit her!”
Mona approaches Laurie with trepidation. She lifts her hand and starts to shake uncontrollably. Mona doesn't want to hurt the frightened young woman but Barney says she has to...
Suburban Monticello (Fairmount), The Karr house
Nancy and Cookie argue about Nicole.
“I don’t believe Louise's ugly gossip,,” insists Nancy. "Louise has always been a gossiping busy-body."
When Cookie persists pressuring Nancy about the fur coat and wondering if Nancy is going to be woman enough to confront Mike about it, Nancy explains that “Nicole merely modeled the coat for Mike, but he didn't actually buy it. There's a difference, Cookie. Can't you understand? Without believing Louise's viscous slander...”
A relentless Cookie is convinced that Louise knows the truth because Louise was there in McGrath's when Mike was there with Nicole and Mike purchased that fur coat for his lover Nicole; now Nicole is flaunting it all over town like a Jezebel right in Nancy's face. Mike Karr has to be confronted for betraying his vows to Nancy. If Nancy didn't confront Mike, Cookie figures she will. Unable to bear anymore of Cookie’s criticizing Nancy snaps . “It’s not the fur coat,” she confesses under pressure and glances at the study door, wondering what Mike and Ron were discussing. “No...No, it’s something else," she fights back tears. "Something else is bothering me.”
Frustrated with Mike and Barrington and crime commission over loan sharks and vice versa, Ron storms out of Mike's study without another word to Mike and into the living room. Cookie already confused by what’s really bothering Nancy observes Ron grimness and wonders what all is going on that she, with her loose tongue, isn't aware? Ron bids a hasty good night to Nancy and rushes out. Still baffled by the going-ons, Cookie promises to continue her conversation with her older sister later, bids Nancy good night and runs after Ron.
Monticello street near Mount Auburn hill
On the way home to Cookie’s apartment in Mount Auburn hill, Monticello's first hilltop suburb, Cookie can’t stand it any longer and questions Ron about his meeting with Mike. Angrily, Ron says that he feels like he's being pulled in too many directions and is about to knuckle under from the pressure.
"Mike has been a relentless heartache for all of us lately," Cookie notes. "Especially for Louise and Phil. Now Nancy...and you."
Suddenly, Ron stops the car below the hillside at a fork in the road and, after a tortured long moment of silence, Ron pulls Cookie into this arms. "More than anything in the world," he tells Cookie fervently, "I want to marry you. In fact, I’ll marry you tonight if you like...”